Potential Vermont Reproductive Liberty Amendment in the Midst of Restrictions in Other States

Alice Lindsay, Student Reporter

The Reproductive Liberty Amendment also known as proposition 5 will be on the Vermont ballot this November.

Did you know about the potential reproductive liberty amendment before this article? At the end of the article, there will be a section for responses to be collected and shown.


Why is the potential amendment so important?

Now that Roe v Wade is likely to be overturned, states will have full control over an individual’s right to access an abortion. This amendment to the Vermont constitution would protect everyone’s reproductive liberties.


What is the amendment?

If passed, the amendment would protect the availability of sex education, contraceptives, and abortion. Maxine Grad, Chair of Vermont House Judiciary Committee, said: “Reproductive health care is much more than abortion. It’s also the information that one needs to decide whether or not to have a child.”

Maxine Grad Photo credit State of Vermont


This is especially important with the recent leak of the draft of the Supreme Court decision on Roe v Wade. It suggests if Roe v Wade is overturned, it would be up to the states to make decisions about abortion. The Vermont amendment is a chance for Vermonters to express their opinion on whether access to reproductive health care should be permanent.


What is the process of passing an amendment to a state constitution?

In order for an amendment to be added to a state constitution, it has to pass successfully through two state legislatures, which is a difficult process (the Reproductive Liberty amendment has already survived this tedious process). Then, according to Maxine Grad, “It has to go to the voters.”

More than half of the votes cast (a simple majority) must be in favor of the amendment, for it to pass. Anyone who’s at least 18 years old and registered to vote by November 5th can vote on the Vermont Reproductive Liberty amendment.


Why pass the amendment when we already have laws with similar purposes?

Currently, Vermont law protects the right to get an abortion, but future legislatures could repeal those laws. The advantage of an amendment, according to Maxine Grad, is that it’s more difficult to get rid of: “It’s very hard to undo a constitutional amendment. Especially if Roe v Wade is overturned, [or] if that right is restricted in any way, then people from Vermont would still have a right to access to reproductive freedom under the Vermont constitution.”

“It’s a big difference from months to, you know, four-plus years,” Grad said.


Why You Should Vote in November


When someone votes, they are not only representing their own opinion but also speaking for future generations and those who are unable to speak for themselves. There are bans and restrictions being made in at least 24 states, according to the National Public Radio. The Vermont amendment is intended to assure the same restrictions don’t happen here.

Do you have strong opinions? If so hit the comment button to share your thoughts below.